ECM Software for Emergency Medicine
Serving New York’s Rockland County since 1985, Rockland Paramedic Services (RPS) is an Emergency Medical Services provider at the paramedic level for both Advanced Life Support First Response as well as emergency and non-emergency ambulance services. Comprised of just over 200 emergency medical technicians, paramedics, dispatchers and administrative staff, RPS delivers top of the line care in life support and first response service with the most advanced vehicles, equipment and technology.
A document heavy organization, Rockland Paramedic Services was one of Square 9’s earliest customers. Extremely well versed in the GlobalSearch software, RPS has recently added on GlobalForms, an advanced web forms designer tool, helping to streamline the collection of patient information, Human Resources onboarding, and more.
“We have a large number of document types including normal business documents, medical records, legal documents, human resources and continuing medical education records,” Chief Timothy P. Egan, Director of Information Technology explained. “Prior to GlobalSearch, we had an offsite storage unit that held thousands of documents which we regularly had to go digging through, based on subpoenas for medical records, and other document requests. Storage space and costs were climbing while retrieval of records was becoming very time consuming.”
Luckily, GlobalSearch quickly became the “life saver” for those who save lives. After implementing the software, document search and retrieval was cut down to a matter of seconds, as critical information continued to remain securely stored, adhering to compliance and retention mandates.
“Ease of use was and still is very important for us; most people do not like change,” Chief Egan continued. “If we can implement software that is Windows based, that looks and feels like everything else we are accustomed to using, we have a leg up on training. I believe that success in the implementation goes hand in hand with buy in of employees using the software – all of which is entirely dependent on ease of use.”
From the beginning, Rockland Paramedic Services was hooked on GlobalSearch for its back-end functionality, and user-friendly Windows based interface. As soon as the software was installed, RPS surveyed their key end users for product input and opinions. They immediately liked the look and feel of GlobalSearch over an opposing product which RPS was using at the time.
Chief Egan made the decision to migrate their current document management database to GlobalSearch right away, and Rockland Paramedic Services saw an immediate constructive impact on critical internal processes. “Document retrieval is of course much faster, which makes all departments more efficient,” said Chief Egan. “We have even decreased our office staff through attrition while maintaining productivity. Several staff members have been able to attribute more of their time for other projects that were previously pushed aside. GlobalSearch makes our whole operation more efficient.”
For RPS, Accounting was the first department to fully integrate GlobalSearch into their daily workflow, and today the division is completely paperless. Everything that comes in on paper is immediately scanned into the system, and then shredded.
Their Human Resource department is also currently as paperless as possible. “We have back-scanned all old files and shredded those documents. Meanwhile, all new applicants can complete applications online and submit them directly into GlobalSearch,” said Chief Egan. Previously, the RPS HR department had several large filing cabinets as well as boxes upon boxes of offsite storage. Now both HR and Accounting operate without filing cabinets, saving RPS major expenses in storage costs.
RPS has also implemented GlobalSearch into their Operations department. Current narcotics usage paper files are scanned directly into GlobalSearch, making Operations document retrieval much easier while keeping paper storage to a minimum. Not only has Rockland Paramedic Services expanded its use of GlobalSearch company-wide, but they have also taken steps as a technology-driven, innovative organization by adding on the latest document management solution from Square 9, GlobalForms.
RPS is currently in the process of implementing GlobalForms, and they have already made big plans for its use. “We anticipate using GlobalForms for the onboarding process of new hires and to streamline the migration of all Hire to Retire type documents on our Intranet,” said Chief Egan. “We also plan on using GlobalForms for many of the indirect patient care documents that are completed manually and scanned now. These documents include medical necessity forms, physician certification forms, patient information from the hospitals and narcotics logs, among others.”
Based on the actual numbers of documents coming into the business compared to those getting scanned and shredded, Chief Egan estimates at least a 95% reduction in manual paper processing in both Human Resources and Accounting. “In fact, in 2010 when we were in the development stages of our new building, we started planning space for large filing cabinets. But as we scanned and shredded more and more paper documents, we quickly realized there was simply no need for these filing cabinets,” Chief Egan explained. “Our Accounting and HR staff were very happy to leave all of that paperwork behind.”
The benefits GlobalSearch has provided to Rockland Paramedic Services have continued to pile up as the years go by. RPS was able to reduce their workforce through attrition by implementing the advanced technology of GlobalSearch. Meanwhile, their previous offsite storage unit cost several thousands of dollars to maintain annually, and when planning the new building, RPS eliminated and repurposed space previously allotted for a filing room.
“We have lost 60% of our Billing Department through attrition over the past five years and have not needed to replace them,” said Chief Egan. “I would estimate a savings through employee attrition of at least $80,000 annually including salaries and benefits. Plus, we also save about $3,000 annually in offsite storage, and have substantially reduced our use of paper, toner and ink cartridges.”
Overall, GlobalSearch has improved Rockland Paramedic Service’s business performance across the board, saving them both time and money while boosting internal productivity. “Our retrieval of medical records is substantially faster than it was in years past,” Chief Egan explained. “Through our medical records databases within the GlobalSearch application, we can retrieve and transmit medical records in near real time. This is very helpful in the case of subpoenas and other medical record requests.”
RPS plans on expanding their GlobalSearch integration further into the Operations department, as the last frontier of their organization’s paperless initiative. “Our field operations staff are constantly in emergency vehicles and facilities like hospitals and nursing homes,” Chief Egan continued. “Through the use of VPN tunnels, vehicle modems and other technologies, we can now introduce many of the efficiencies we have had in the building to the field staff. This is something that we will continue to refine with Square 9 until we are as paperless as possible.”
Over the years, Chief Egan and his staff have been extremely pleased with Square 9’s suite of solutions, and they continue to recommend GlobalSearch as well as the newly enhanced GlobalForms module. “If properly planned and implemented it is almost impossible not to experience savings and efficiencies with GlobalSearch in any business,” Chief Egan said. “The cost savings alone make it a must have part of any business technology implementation and the efficiencies in personnel use are tremendous. Our employees are happier, more efficient and more productive as a result of using GlobalSearch.”